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John Calvin at 500

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John Calvin’s (10 July 1509 – 27 May 1564) greatest legacy today may be what Max Weber described in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. According to Weber, Calvin provided the ideological impetus for the development of capitalism. In addition, Calvin also contributed to the development of representative democracy in general and the American system of government in particular through his doctrine of sin and human fallibility, which suggested the division of authority in a system of checks and balances. And finally, Calvin’s ideas on Christian liberty contributed to the growth of religious freedom and the openness of society.

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